Monday, January 03, 2011

Information verses Revelation - II

There is a life and death difference between information and revelation. “Knowledge puffs up” says the Scripture, as well as “ever learning and never able to come to the truth”. In this sweeping age of information believing followers have become content and even activated by information. The message of this generation is “how to” everything. How to be a good person, a good husband or wife, a successful businessman, person of integrity, and a thousand other “how tos”. We are obsessed with learning about everything and ambivalent about experiencing the power of that same knowledge.
Revelation comes when some truth or truths become so exposed in your spirit that it changes you. Many unsaved people know about Jesus, but that is a far cry from knowing Him and having His saving power change you very life and eternity. When true enlightenment comes then we are changed. But be aware that revelation must be maintained because it can and does wither if not renewed. That is why revival is not just a reacquainting with knowledge, but it is a seeking of the Holy Spirit to reignite the power of revelation, with Jesus being the primary and foundational source for all spiritual revelation. Revival comes when after prayer and fasting a deeper and more glorious revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ explodes within a believer’s spirit.
Have you ever wept while reading the Scriptures? I mean have there ever been times when the Holy Spirit brought such illumination to your spirit through the Word that you were brought to tears, even though you were alone? Have you ever read about God’s love for sinners and it became so real to you that you were granted a new and deeper love for lost sinners yourself? That is revelation based upon information. That is what the church needs individually and collectively.
Many believers live there entire Christian experience with only the initial salvation revelation and Jesus the Savior, but they never progress any further. And when a believer ceases to seek God they inevitably lose what revelation they have had. That is what is called being “backslidden” and your heart grows cold toward Christ. And so many times that coldness is masked by activity, faithfulness to a local assembly, and an overall upbeat personal spirit. We have lost touch with what it means to live a crucified life and we have filled that void with all kinds of western accoutrements. A long time ago a pastor once told me to always let the people see you in a hurry so you can give off the appearance of being busy. That is what passes for a shepherd these days.
And that is a core problem. When the shepherds have no open revelation the people are slowly starved with spiritual junk food. And when the shepherds are reduced to CEOs of an ecclesiastical business then any hope of spiritual growth is removed. Today’s pastors must be politicians who smile and laugh and shake everyone’s hand as if soliciting votes. They must tell jokes and be a cheerleader to their congregants. A pastor can go his entire ministry without once coming to the pulpit looking a bit haggard and worn out because he had an unction of the Spirit to pray all night. Rarely has a preacher began his message with tears and trembling and with such emotion that it disarms his listeners.
Charles Finney used to say that it was incongruent when a preacher stands and delivers some message about the coming judgment of God (That was a long time ago.) and then smiles and laughs as he shakes hands with the congregation and receives their congratulations on a “good sermon”. What are we…entertainers? Are we performers who want the applause of men or are we servants and mouthpieces of the Most High God? If we are just sharing information then we are nothing more than lifeless marionettes who earn our paychecks every Sunday.
We are in desperate need of a fresh revelation of Jesus Christ and what it means to be His follower. Millions feel a sense of accomplishment as they adhere to some structure to read the Bible through in one year, and yet where is the fruit of that endeavor? I have heard people say how blessed they were in reading the Scriptures through in one year, but were they changed? Were they broken? Were they crucified? You might be better served to choose a portion of Scripture, perhaps the Sermon on the Mount, and for one entire year read it many, many times with an open and thirsty heart and a willingness to conform to whatever the Spirit reveals to you.
For too long we have been drinking from shallow and even polluted wells that cannot give life. The church has veered into a ditch, and instead of climbing out through repentance and prayer, she has conveniently formed an ecclesiastical construct that allows her to remain in that ditch and still contend she serves the Risen Christ. People are so hungry for something that has some spiritual revelation that they will follow false visions and revelations. And instead of the church looking into the mirror and beseeching God to rend our hearts and fill us with a fresh awakening, we pragmatically teach about the errors of others. Again, information heavy.
Sometimes it takes a long time and diligence to open doors of revelation in the Word. God tells us He is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him. (Heb.11:6) This isn’t a fast food operation, and there are no drive through windows. And therein lies another problem, namely that in order to go deeper in the spirit you will have to dramatically rearrange your time and schedule. Much television may have to be sacrificed, and you must fight for the time necessary to seek and find the true treasure of God’s Word. If you are content with shallowness then you need not sacrifice anything, and you will be in the company of other professing believers that are legion.
Examine your heart and see if there is so much information that lies dormant in the library of your memory but is not a living and active revelation of Christ and His kingdom. And let us pray fervently that God’s Spirit will quicken within us the reality of the Risen Christ and His kingdom. There is so much fallow ground to be broken up, and that can only come through prayer.

So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Lord, give us a revelation of the profound depth of those words.

1 comment:

Radiance said...

Rick, thank you so much for this post. I plan on sharing this and part 1 with my pastor and fellow congregants.